What is it?
You might think that the 135i would be a small, driver-focused coupé. To some extent it is, of course, but in the end it doesn’t really turn out like that.
Yes, the 135i is the halo 1-series. Its 302bhp, twin-turbo straight six makes it the most powerful and fastest One yet; it’ll reach 62mph in 5.3sec and go on to a limited 155mph.
And its coupé body (more like a two-door saloon, if you ask me) is stiffer than that of either the three- or five-door hatch, which should make tuning the suspension for dynamism so much easier. It has M Sport suspension, M Sport body styling, 18-inch alloys and, at the rear, 35-profile tyres. It even gets, of a fashion, a locking differential. On paper, it’s as committed as BMWs get this side of an M-car.
What's it like?
It’s a surprise to find that the 135i’s actually a bit of a softie. Even more so if you’ve ever been in a 130i, which is to ride quality what blindfolds are to road safety.
The 135i isn’t harsh like that. Over broken or gravelly surfaces it rides better than a 130i could ever hope to. And better than a car on 35-profile run-flats has a right to. I suspect it’s down to the increased torsional rigidity, which allows the suspension to do its job properly.